DERBY, UK—The National UK Gatka Championship was held this year in Derby. Sangat TV broadcast-ed the entire event live throughout the day, while Sikh Channel recorded the highlights for a later broadcast.
The President of the Gatka Federation UK and MP candidate for Gravesham, Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi, singled out the hard work put in by all the Derby organizers in his commentary and closing speech, Rajinder Singh Purewal, Gurdwara President Raghbir Singh, Pyara Singh, Lakhvir Singh, Satpal Singh, and the Derby sangat. He also highlighted the historical importance of Gatka and the need to ensure the youth connect with it in the future.
Tanmanjeet Singh requested all UK Gatka groups to join in the event next year, so that everyone takes Gatka to greater heights together. He added that the choice for the city to hold next year’s championship event had not yet been made and requested expressions of interest from other cities.
Congratulations to Gravesend and Slough Gatka groups for coming first and second place respectively in the men’s final. Gravesend pipped Derby to win the boys final, while Derby won the ladies and most freestyle competitions. With lots of competitive bouts, everyone fought in their best spirits.
The championship was initiated with Kirtan and Kavishri by the youngsters, followed by Ardas and the firing of 5 arrows to commence proceedings. Renowned speakers Bhagwan Singh Johal, and Ranjeet Singh Rana, along with Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi, provided commentary throughout the tournament. Gurdev Singh Matharu recited a long poem about Gatka, which he had composed especially for these championships.
Many prominent personalities attended, including renowned Punjabi singer Malkit Singh, who encouraged participants and distributed prizes.